Journalists often ask tough questions and sometimes the queries make the journalist uncomfortable. Such was the case during our taping of “Face the State” with our guest Larry DeNardis, Republican candidate for governor. At 72, the former one-term congressman is the oldest candidate in the race. I had to ask him about the age issue in a respectful way.
It was a question asked of Ronald Reagan in 1980, and he was younger then than DeNardis is now. John McCain also got the age question when he was running for president at age 71. For the record, I’m a big fan of working as long a person wants and is able to do so. My parents both work in their late 60s, and my father-in-law was elected Governor of Rhode Island at the age of 70.
DeNardis handled the question well and all but said he will only serve one term. When pressed on whether he will serve only one term if elected, DeNardis kept stressing he has a “four year” plan to fix the state.
Another issue that we raised during “Face” was casino gambling. Massachusetts is making a big push this year to legalize the lucrative enterprise. Why? Bay Staters spend hundreds of thousands of dollars very year (approaching $1 billion) at Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods, and MA Governor Deval Patrick wants to keep that money in his state. In fact, Foxwoods has more customers from Massachusetts than from Connecticut. If casinos open in Massachusetts, every city town in Connecticut will suffer. Right now, the state gets 25% of revenues from slot machines. If Bay Staters stop coming here, the amount of the check the casinos cut to the state of Connecticut will shrink dramatically.
DeNardis said if Massachusetts legalizes casino gambling, he would be open to talking to the Mohegans and Pequots about ending their casino monopoly. Losing all that slot revenue to Massachusetts might force our state to consider expanding gambling here. All options must be on the table according to DeNardis.
DeNardis was also questioned about President Obama’s newly passed health care plan. As a former Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Reagan, DeNardis understands health care perhaps better than most candidates. He said the plan is bad for Connecticut and will cost taxpayers, and will eliminate jobs here. When asked whether Richard Blumenthal should join other Attorneys General and sue to stop the plan, DeNardis said “of course.”
You can watch the entire interview with Larry DeNardis this Sunday at 11AM. Christine Stuart of ctnewsjunkie.com is our guest reporter.